Kabale — Poachers have killed a mountain gorilla at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.
The area conservation manager, Mr Pontius Ezuma, said the 12-year-old black-back gorilla died last week of injuries it sustained after it was speared on the chest by unknown poachers at Biyumba in Kanyonza Sub-county, Kanungu District.
“The death of this black-back has not only reduced the total population of the endangered mountain gorillas in Uganda but it has robbed the country a lot of foreign exchange. One tourist pays about $500 to watch a mountain gorilla for an hour. This death is a very big loss to the Uganda’s economy,” Mr Ezuma said. He said this is the first time a mountain gorilla has been killed by poachers in the history of the park.
Poachers, the manager said, usually raid the park to hunt for antelopes. “We have been doing a lot of sensitisation about the usefulness of the mountain gorillas. Last year, Kanungu District received about Shs60 million as revenue sharing from Bwindi National Park,” Mr Ezuma said. “This year, Kabale, Kisoro and Kanungu districts shall share Shs205 million being the gorilla levy earned. Why this cruel act?” Mr Ezuma wondered.
The south-south western police regional spokesman, Mr Victor Nahabwe, said they have deployed a sniffer dog to track the poachers.